The National Safety Council emphasizes the importance of back-to-school safety every August, during Back to School Month. The NSC offers safety tips on its website for parents on topics that include school bus safety, backpack safety, and the concussion risk of school sports.
Following is an overview of what the NSC has identified as its top safety concerns for school-age children.
Safety in Outside Zones
Safety in pick-up/drop-off zones and in crosswalks has always been a topic of concern for the NSC, and parents can do a lot to help keep kids safe in those areas.
In pick-up/drop-off zones, cars should be moving in a single-file line, in the same direction. But in front of some schools, it’s common to see cars double-parked, or cars dropping off children on the curb opposite of the school, which significantly increases the risk of a child’s being struck by a car.
Some of the dangers near schools are created by parents who are in a hurry to get to work and take shortcuts that compromise safety. Parents should avoid double-parking. If they can’t drop children off directly in front of the school, they can park and walk their children across the street if there’s no crossing guard. And all drivers should slow down when passing through school zones.
Teaching Kids About Awareness
Parents know they should teach kids about how to safely cross the street. But there’s another lesson parents should be focusing on these days: Don’t use an electronic device when crossing the street.
The NSC says that in 1995, children age 5 to 9 had the highest risk of being struck by a car while walking. By 2015, teenagers had become the age group under 19 most likely to be struck by a car. In 2013, of the 484 pedestrians nationwide younger than 19 who died in a vehicle crash, 47 percent were age 15 to 19.
Those statistics don’t necessarily mean that every teen pedestrian struck by a car was using a cellphone while crossing the street. But distraction does raise the risk of being struck in traffic.
Concussion is a risk in any sport, not just football. And in some sports, girls seem to have a higher concussion risk. According to a 2013 report from Safe Kids Worldwide, of the 163,670 children ages 6 to 19 treated for concussion in emergency rooms in 2011 and 2012, girls had higher concussion rates from soccer and basketball than boys did. For males, football has the highest concussion risk, but for females, soccer has the highest concussion risk.
Signs of concussion include dizziness, confusion, headache, moodiness, and disorientation. Coaches and parents must be alert for these symptoms, because in young athletes, returning to play before a concussion is fully healed may cause a rare and often fatal injury called second impact syndrome, in which a subsequent blow to the head causes rapid brain swelling.
Back-to-school safety begins at home, with parents teaching kids what they need to know to avoid danger. And by being actively involved in their child’s education, parents can make sure that schools are observing safety protocols – whether that means hiring crossing guards or ensuring that coaches are trained how to recognize concussions.
If you have questions about how school safety might apply to your situation, discuss it with one of the attorneys at the Austin, TX-based Evans Law Firm. As personal injury attorneys with years of experience, we help the people of Texas put their lives back on track. We offer small law firm attention with big law firm results. Call today at 1-855-414-1012 or fill out this online contact form to find out how we can help you.